A “Cheetah” robot gallops at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour (mph), setting a new land speed record for legged robots. The previous record was 13.1 mph, set in 1989.

The use of ground robots in military explosive-ordinance-disposal missions already saves many lives and prevents thousands of other casualties. If the current limitations on mobility and manipulation capabilities of robots can be overcome, robots could much more effectively assist warfighters across a greater range of missions. DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program seeks to create and demonstrate significant scientific and engineering advances in robot mobility and manipulation capabilities.

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Also: Learn about the future of robots in surgery.